Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Wednesday that he will cut off energy supplies to Europe if price caps were imposed on the country’s oil and gas exports, reported Reuters.
Putin’s statement comes after G7 nations – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States – as well as the European Union on September 2 agreed to a price cap to curb Moscow’s revenues from oil export.
Oil exports are an important source of revenue for Russia. By shunning them, the G7 nations want indirectly reduce the financial support to Moscow for its war on Ukraine.
Russia will not follow its supply contracts if any political decisions contradict them, Putin said on Wednesday. “We will not supply gas, oil, coal, heating oil – we will not supply anything,” Putin said. “We would only have one thing left to do: as in the famous Russian fairy tale, we would sentence the wolf’s tail to be frozen.”
Russia is the world’s third-largest oil producer behind the United States and Saudi Arabia. After Moscow invaded Ukraine on February 24, there were fears about supply chain disruptions. In May, when the European Union agreed to ban 90% of Russian oil imports, Moscow retorted by reducing the energy exports.
On September 5, Russia’s state-owned gas company Gazprom suspended gas supplied through Nord Stream 1, the pipeline that delivers natural gas to Germany, after an engine oil leak during maintenance work, reported Reuters.
Last week chief executive of Shell Ben van Beurden said that gas shortages across Europe are likely to last for several winters to come, reported The Guardian. “It may well be that we will have a number of winters where we have to somehow find solutions,” Beurden said.